By Staff Writer Mozza
Accessing the Mt Mee entrance to the huge D’Aguilar National Park only takes about an hour from Bribie Island and surrounds. Travel past Caboolture towards Kilcoy through Wamuran and turn left at the main intersection at the town of D’Aguilar travelling around 10kms up the range and ten turn right into Sellin Road. A scenic road past farms provides endless views of the Brisbane Valley before you reach The Gantry picnic area.
The Gantry was an active sawmill producing timbers which were used in the Moreton Bay Region, including the Hornibrook Highway which connected Sandgate and Clontarf, a distance of 2,686 metres, making it Australia’s longest bridge at the time.
When you drive around D'Aguilar National Park, you get a real appreciation for how difficult it would have been in the early days of sawmill operations. The only reminder of those industrial times is the skeleton of the huge shed, erected in the 1950’s by Hancock’s Sawmill to house the overhead gantry crane.
If you’re looking to stretch your legs there are excellent walks from the Gantry you should look at.
To reach this lookout walk 500m from the carpark to a viewing platform overlooking the northern side of the D’Aguilar Range and Nuerum Valley. The platform sits above Bulls Falls and rockpools
Beginning opposite the Gantry, this track passes through scribbly gum forests, rainforest and dry open forest. About halfway along you can enjoy views overlooking Somerset Dam and Lake Wivenhoe to the west. You will need to ensure you are wearing appropriate shoes and walking gear for this trail and remember to bring water, as there is no drinking water available along the trail.
A one kilometre loop, Piccabeen Walk is a delightful relaxing stroll. You will enjoy the rainforest setting and grove of piccabeen palms, whilst also learning more about Mount Mee from the information signs along the path. Walk usually take 20-30 minutes and is perfect for families with small children.
Mill rainforest walk is also worth a look with its own carpark 3kms down the gravel road.
For 4WD enthusiasts the Range Road forest drive is available as well as Archer campground and Somerset lookout via the Western Escarpment forest drive. These tracks provide spectacular views over the Great Dividing Range, Somerset Dam and Wivenhoe headwaters. In addition the Neurim Creek Campground is 6kms drive from the Gantry and you can enjoy a swim at Rocky Hole an 8km drive from the Gantry also.
A tip for a late lunch on the way home near D’Aguilar town is a little place on the left called the Place 2b. There you’ll find yourself surrounded by the lushest of greens, with a tranquil dam at the centre of this beautiful view that’s yours to take in. The Place 2B is the perfect place to sit back and unwind over our barista-made coffee or loose leaf tea, take easy walks in the garden, view walls filled with local artwork, enjoy delicious home-cooked food, or trip down memory lane amongst rustic décor.
As a kid-friendly restaurant and pet-friendly cafe, the welcoming vibe is sure to make you feel right at home.